Monday, September 1, 2008

MySpace teen party runs wild

A wild teenage party promoted on MySpace has been condemned by police in Victoria who were pelted with glass bottles when they tried to close it down.

Sergeant Mick Ryan, of Geelong police, said one drunken youth was arrested after trying to king-hit a female police officer as the party in Belmont spilled into the street.

Every available police unit in the area was called after the backyard party - being hosted by a 16-year-old and his mother - got out of control in Tettenhall Ridge on Saturday.

"It was just a big party, full of underage drunks in the backyard and the street was littered with lots of broken bottles so we decided to close it down," Sergeant Ryan said.

"There was one drunk adult 'supervising' and the backyard was chocker from fence to fence full of kids aged 14 to 18."

Sergeant Ryan said he was in a van with five police officers who were called in as back up after other officers in a police van were unable to stop the party following complaints from neighbours.

He said as he and fellow officers cleared the backyard a fight broke out in the street and when police tried to stop the scuffle the crowd turned on officers.

"We stepped in to break it up and one youth started swinging at a policewoman so we arrested him," he said.

"When the fight started bottles started being thrown at us, full bottles of alcohol."

Police were forced to retreat and wait for back up before clearing the streets of drunken revellers.

"If they are underage you have to give them the option of a caution," he said.

Two more youths were arrested for being drunk but will not face charges.

Sergeant Ryan said the mother of the party's host had been spoken to but was heavily intoxicated and unco-operative with police.

He said police were able to shut down parties but it was difficult to charge people with offences.

He said some parents who had come to collect their children were shocked to find out what kind of party they had been attending.

"It was going well until some young blokes started to fight and tried to take us on and then it just exploded," he said.

"I feel sorry for some of the young kids who were terrified by what happened.

"It was like when you drop a stone in a pond and the ripples go out, it just went 'boom'."

Geelong Chief Inspector Wayne Carson said promoting teenage parties on the internet only fuelled the chance for violence and drunkenness.

"We just think it's totally irresponsible to do that and discourage people from holding 16-18-year-old parties in their backyards, particularly if they are going to advertise on MySpace," he said.

"It is terribly irresponsible and, in my view, if you have to have those sorts of parties in your backyard at least take the precaution of having a number of supervisors who are sober."

"Vans came from Geelong, Corio, Portarlington ... every available unit came to help ... it was the lion's share of police resources," Sergeant Ryan said.

It is understood the 16th birthday party had been advertised on social networking site MySpace.

A 17-year-old male was arrested for drunkenness and assaulting a police officer but Sergeant Ryan said because he was underage he had only been cautioned.


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